Problems about praying in public and other stuff?


#1

well, I’ve been thinking about this, how much does we need to show about our daily activities.

for example: when saying prayers before and after a meal, while in home, no big problem, but what about doing it in the school before getting a sandwich. are we allowed to pray silently without doing any gesture, specially if we did this in order to avoid mocking and stuff or is it sinful? and also for all those things that are not required to be made (like verbally saying God’s Willing after every plan as far, as i know). i mean i could understand that you should do it in secret if your intention was to be recognized (as in given credit) for it, but would this somehow counts as being embarrased of God?

i have this big problem, and it is not just with spiritual things, for example if someone tells me to tell them something in English when they know i can speak it, i just refuse, because I feel somewhat silly, I suppose i have too much of fear of being labeled as a goody two shoes. any advice for this also?


#2

DMC12 said** : “how much do we need to show about our daily activities?
for example: when saying prayers before and after a meal, while … in the school before [eating] a sandwich.
Are we allowed to pray silently without doing any gesture,…?”**

Almost EVERY Human Being (who prays at all) will Silently Pray, from time to time.
And, certainly saying Grace in public can be one of those times.
Jesus TAUGHT us to Pray secretly (go into a Closet, and close the Door).
So, silently reciting Grace complies with Jesus and His Teaching.

And,** : “and also for all those things that are not required to be made (like verbally saying God’s Willing after every plan as far, as i know) . . . would this somehow count as being embarrassed of God?”**

I am not QUITE sure what you are asking here, but, IF I silently pray to God about ANYTHING AT ALL, God will be Happy that I prayed to Him.
And, I don’t think God would be embarrassed about anything contained in a Prayer (especially with people obsessed with Sex … or Drugs … or Rock and Roll).
My Opinion : Pray to God the Father about anything you want to pray to Him about.
God is Good Listener (and He has other Good qualities too).
And, if someone does NOT Like you praying, that is THEIR Problem, not yours or God’s.

And, "if someone tells me to tell them something in English when they know i can speak it, i just refuse … any advice for this also?"

YES, I have some Advice for you **: **Keep up the Good Work of keeping Silent in those Situations.
You can do what you want to do.
If you CHOOSE to not do something that you COULD do (if you wanted to), that is just Fine.


#3

well, what i meant by being embarrased of God, is that eventough Im not embarrased of telling them im Catholic, or to be seen going to Mass, i have problems when is showing the faith through the not necesarry stuff, which is stuff like the thanksgiving before and after a meal. that is why i force myself sometimes to do it visible, because the hiding is not because I want to keep things secret between God and me, but because of some embarrasement of what people might think. So i just want to know if it’s a sin if i fail at doing so, or am i just pushing myself too hard on this, and should just work on stuff without fear of sin.
and now that i think about it is about lots of stuff, using the same example of english (not my native languaje), i have no problems speaking in english in class, or between english speakers, but if someone asked me: tell me something in english, then i feel uncomfortable, same for many other stuff.


#4

I totally know what you mean, I struggle with this too. I didn’t grow up praying before meals so people get surprised. And I don’t want to make people who don’t pray feel uncomfortable or awkward. :frowning:
I think whether or not it is a sin depends on your reasons and intent- it isn’t a sin to not pray before meals- but either way, I feel like God is calling me to work on it!
Sorry I can’t help much, seeing as I have the same struggle. But I will pray for you, please pray for me too :slight_smile:


#5

Frankly, I think we should see a resurgence of public worship and prayer. I am also generally private, but the problem with that is that religion in general is being pushed more and more into the margins of society while secular and materialistic ideologies hostile to spirituality and particularly religion continue to grow and thrive.

We need to make more of a public display of our faith- to reaffirm that it exists and is nothing to be ashamed of. Admitting to all types of sins publicly is tolerated and even encouraged these day, while a show of faith is discouraged and scorned at. We live in very troubled times.

I saw a Muslim family the other day praying in a public place. I thought- “Good for them! Now why don’t we do that more often?!”

You don’t have to make a spectacle of it. Just a silent prayer and the sign of the cross. Don’t worry about being mocked. If anything, this makes you greater in the eyes of God!


#6

DMC12 responds to my Post : "what i meant by being embarrassed of God, is that even though I’m not embarrassed of telling them i’m Catholic … i have problems when [it] is showing the faith through the not-necesarry stuff, which is stuff like the thanksgiving before and after a meal."

OK, you are restricting this question to things you can do which Prove to Others, that you are a practicing Catholic.

And,** “that is why i force myself sometimes to do it [saying Grace before eating a Meal] visibly, because the hiding is not because I want to keep things secret between God and me, but because of some embarrassment * what people might think [about me being a Catholic].”*

OK, the MAIN Reason you say Grace before eating (in Public), is because you are embarrassed about what they think about you.
I don’t really Understand this behavior.
It sounds like you are Blatantly saying Grace to “poke them in the Eye” with the Fact that you are a devout Catholic.
If this is it, my Opinion is that you are acting inappropriately (i.e., for the Wrong Purpose).
If you think that “showing off” your Religion is productive to others, then that is your Opinion.
I think that this Reason is (somehow) Vanity.

And, "So i just want to know if it’s a sin if i fail at doing so, or am i just pushing myself too hard on this, and should just work on stuff without fear of sin."

I think that you DOING it is a Sin (of sorts).
You are saying Grace NOT to give thanks to God, but to MAKE others think that you are giving thanks to God.
So, I feel the opposite of how you do.

And, finally, "and now that i think about it, [this] is about lots of stuff,
using the same example of english (not my native language),
i have no problems speaking in english in class, or between english speakers,
but if someone asked me: tell me something in english, then i feel uncomfortable."

I have NO idea about WHY you feel uncomfortable.
So, if you don’t want to explain it further, I will pass on this one.**


#7

I’ve had problems with this one too, even when some of us have gone to lunch with the pastor. I just don’t think we have to make a big deal out of praying in public so that everyone else can hear you out loud. To me, at a time when I wasn’t going to church at all, it was more impressive for me to see a couple silently bow their heads and fold their hands together for a few seconds in a restaurant. It was obvious that they were praying, but they weren’t calling attention to themselves by doing it that way. I only saw it because I happened to look over that direction.


#8

#9

Maybe you should just do it? If your friends mock you then pray for them!

I know it’s hard but my friends at school came I respect me for prayer and even ask me prayer intentions.

My school also has a chapel which I go to daily? Maybe ask your school for a private classroom that you can pray in and then you could probably eat your lunch which amends the grace situation?!

God Bless!


#10

Butaperson said** : “I think that what the OP is saying is that he says Grace out loud because he doesn’t want to be embarrassed of God.
He is saying that there is a difference between saying prayers quietly for privacy, and saying prayers quietly because you are embarrassed. I agree.
There can be many motivations behind silent prayer, and the OP is saying, he says Grace out loud because he does not want to have the wrong motivation for saying it silently (the wrong motivation being embarrassment).”**

Well, this MIGHT be what the OP means.

But, even if it IS the Reason he claims as to why he Prays out-loud, my Comments stand.
If a person has an Irrational Fear, that is NOT a Spiritual Reason to do something.
So, his Embarrassment might be delusional, and therefore a Poor Reason to interrupt everyone else’s conversations, with an un-welcome Prayer to God.

And, in this case, you claim that the OP feels Embarrassed about saying Grace, and based upon his Embarrassment, he chooses to say it loudly to prove to himself that he is NOT embarrassed (even though he IS Embarrassed).
Whew! That’s a long way around that Embarrassment.
I hope that the OP responds to your Theory, so we know if you are correct in your guess.

In the past, I have heard 2 people make this same argument to defend their actions.
One, would recite his Grace loud-enough so that people at other tables had to hear him.
Later, he confided in me that he was Embarrassed to say Grace (because of all of the Atheists), so he BOOMS his Grace out to Embarrass those dirty Atheists back for their lack of Faith.
He “compensated” for his Embarrassment, by annoying everyone around him (including the Catholics), with his rendition of Grace.

The other person was a guy who recited his Grace for almost 2 minutes.
He thinks that he is Embarrassed to say it at all.
He makes up for this by saying Grace for a longer-than-Normal time, and incorporating many other things into it than blessing the food and the people present (sounding a lot like a Homily)
The Second time I was with him, I said Amen early on, and began to eat (as I had finished my Grace, and had NOT asked him to say Grace for me).
He then turned his Grace into a put-Down for anyone who chose to blaspheme God by daring to ignore his Prayer to God.

So, I wonder if the OP is ALSO one of these 2 types of Grace-sayers in public.
If not, OK.
But if YES … Oh boy.


#11

Please re-read the OP

For example: when saying prayers before and after a meal, while in home, no big problem, but what about doing it in the school before getting a sandwich. ]are we allowed to pray silently without doing any gesture, specially if we did this in order to avoid mocking and stuff or is it sinful? and also for all those things that are not required to be made (like verbally saying God’s Willing after every plan as far, as i know). i mean i could understand that you should do it in secret if your intention was to be recognized (as in given credit) for it, but would this somehow counts as being embarrased of God?

He is saying the he prays SILENTLY to avoid embarrassment or being challenged. In comparison to praying SILENTLY in reverence.

He is asking if this reason for silent prayer (avoid embarrassment) counts as being embarrassed of God?

Can the OP clarify if this is a correct interpretation?


#12

yes, that is exactly what i meant, i do not say them outloud, but Gestures like the hands and such, I made them visible enough so people knows that I’m praying. just because i think that if i do it secretly for the wrong reasons (embarrasment) it will be sinful.


#13

DMC12 responds with some clarity** : “i do not say them [recite Grace] out loud, but [instead I make] Gestures like the hands [making the Sign of the Cross] and such, I made them visible enough so people know that I’m praying. just because i think that if i do it secretly for the wrong reasons (embarrassment) it will be sinful.”**

Gee, this is ONE Reason to never reply to a person who doesn’t speak English very much (and who doesn’t reply in a timely manner).
Misunderstandings abound … and it ends up turning into a Fiasco.

I think I will ignore most of these poor-English Posts.
I get enough Confusion in my Life from the Devil … I am not looking for any MORE Confusion than I have already.


#14

Charity, please.


#15

Imagine a written word in Greek or Hebrew from the spoken Aramaic at a time when very few people were literate translated many times over until we get an English version some 2000 years later!!!

THIS little misunderstanding is nothing!


#16

It’s not a sin to not say Grace before meals. If you don’t feel comfortable praying at that time, you don’t have to do it. You can worship God in other ways. A really outgoing person will say their prayer out loud with all the motions. A quieter person can do it silently. If you are with fellow Catholics, I think it is a good idea to pray together as a group aloud. If you are by yourself, I think it’s fine to be more inconspicuous.


#17

Dulcinea2721 said (in reference to my Post)** : “THIS little misunderstanding is nothing!”**

Speak for yourself, Dulcinea.

It is important to me that I do NOT find myself in the Position of trying to Dispute the efficacy of another Poster’s opinion, for a FALSE Reason.

If I Feel like I need to Criticize another CAF’er … then I pound on myself first.
Who am I to do this?
Is THIS issue important-Enough to Dispute?
Am I willing to hurt myself (and my Serenity) in order to express my Contrary Opinion?

About 80% of the Time, I just bow-out of the situation, and I DON’T Post a word.
And, this is the way it SHOULD be … Each Person is a Child of God, and has the Right to believe whatever he wants to Believe (even if it’s NOT according to the Catholic Church’s “standards” of conduct).

So, if THIS particular Post is one I will “Criticize” … I do NOT want for it to be for a Bogus reason.
Because, if I criticize a Person for something that they DIDN’T Do … I am joining Satan, in his Job of injuring others for NO Good Reason.
And, doing that becomes (in my Soul and Heart) a HUGE Sin … and I can beat myself up over it for Hours … or Weeks.

The Forum is a Powerful communication Tool.
If mis-Used, it can injure other Catholics (and non-Catholics), and MAY cause them to Lose Faith.
And, this is one of the LARGEST Sins, according to Jesus … and accepted as such by Me.
So, Dulsinea, I will (slightly) alter your Post : "THIS little misunderstanding is [NOT] nothing!"


#18

If I was offensive then I apologise, it was not my intention. You understood the (somewhat ambiguous) OP one way, I had understood it another way. So I asked a question, the OP clarifies and everyone moves on.

I was simply attempting to put things in perspective. We are here on a forum, with people of many background, education levels, different faiths etc. We are attempting to have a conversation of sorts, without gestures, intonations or facial expressions to help us determine the true meaning of the written words. This is not a simple task and misunderstandings often happen.

I was drawing a parallel to the Bible since I have read many threads in which many posters have different understandings of the same statement. Can you imagine how difficult a task it is to keep the interpretation of the Bible as pure as possible?

This particular misunderstanding was cleared up. I really don’t think that any harm was done, there was no bloodshed over this (in comparison to the bible analogy)but you are free to disagree with me.

Peace


#19

Dulcinea2717 responded to my Post** : “If I was offensive then I apologise, it was not my intention. You understood the (somewhat ambiguous) OP one way, I had understood it another way. So I asked a question, the OP clarifies, and everyone moves on.”**

Yes, I agree with your analysis.
And, I deeply appreciate that you asked the Clarifying Question.
I always want to know what is REALLY happening.

I started off thinking it was about a Silent Grace (and discussed that), and then I agreed with another PP, and discussed making a LOUD Grace.
This leaves me upset that I “scolded” (in a way) the OP for saying Grace out loud.
And, that is what I am talking about here in this Thread.

It is ONE Thing to Compliment someone for the Wrong Reason. I misunderstand what he is saying, and bestow rousing Support onto him
Because, after all, it is NICE to say nice things to people (for ANY Reason).
But, handing out a Complaint to someone for the Wrong Reason is in a Different class of Religious Offense.

I see my Scolding for a mis-interpretation a VILE act … a Sinful deed.
It was MY OBLIGATION to ask the Clarifying Question, before I PLOWED Forward, and scolded the OP for doing something he did NOT Do.
This is the Type of Sin I am MOST eager to rid-myself-of at my next Confession.
In fact, I am pondering that I have thus Committed a Mortal Sin … which will mean, that I will just be receiving BLESSINGS for the next few Mass Services in the Easter weekend.

And, thank you for the rest of your Post.
It is uplifting and clear.
But, for me, I will suffer for MY Perspective of my actions … a BIG Sin (that I committed with my EYES WIDE OPEN), and a kick-in-the-Teeth to the OP.


#20

You must know that Jesus said that we should pray in secret so that we may learn humility and true prayer to God. This does not in any way prohibit the genuine prayer if it is made in public. The one that Jesus condemns is the kind of prayer that wants attention from others. Those who pray that wants others’ praise.

We must all remember that the Lord is God Who sees in the depths of hour hearts. If our intention is genuine, God will surely know that, and He will distinguish those who pray in sincerely and those who pray in vain.

True that it might be awkward for you at first, but try to do it a little more often each time and so to make it a habit. So that shame will no longer hinder you from connecting to the Lord every time. Again, this is different from a circus prayer of hypocrisy.


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